23 February 2015


Things are still pretty busy up here in Portland. However, I managed to find time to take what I call a "mental health day" to rejuvenate a little bit. I just needed some time to myself and it was an incredibly beautiful day out, so I took a nice long walk.

In the neighborhood just off-campus.

At Tryon Creek State Park, where I do most of my running. It's just a five minute walk from campus, and it's one of my favorite places. Especially when the sun comes out after a week of clouds and rain to make the moss on the trees shimmer.

Got my music and my dinosaur T shirt... I'm all set.

I picked up some groceries on the way back from my walk and decided to eat dinner on the floor of my room. I just rolled out my yoga mat and enjoyed my dumplings and veggies while listening to music.

In the evening, I went to a poetry slam featuring Sister Outsider! These incredible, inspirational women are some of the most renowned slam poets in the world. Their coming to campus was a joint effort by several student-run organizations on campus, including the Apocalips Slam Poetry Club, The Queer Resource Center, The Finance Committee, United Genders & Sexuality, IME (Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement), the Black Student Union, Student Activities and the Feminist Student Union. I don't have time to give you information on all of those organizations, but trust me, they're all really great. Anyway, one of my favorite pieces Sister Outsider performed was called No Child Left Behind. You can watch it here (DISCLAIMER: may contain swearing, does not necessarily reflect my views or the views of Lewis and Clark College, etc.).

As (hopefully) a future educator, and therefore as someone who partakes in the dialogue on things like No Child Left Behind and standardized testing and the school-to-prison pipeline, this poem spoke to me in a deep way. I hope you guys like it too. I think the version they performed live for us was better than the link I found though ;)

My other favorite poem was this one.

I have a great love for poetry - both slam and other, more "traditional" forms. My academic advisor, Mary Szybist, won the National Book Award for her poetry. I took a poetry class with her my first year and learned so much about my own writing. I got so much feedback from both her and my classmates, One of the coolest people I got to work with was Samantha Peterson, who recently graduated Lewis and Clark and has performed slam poetry on a national level. Here is one of her performances currently circulating on the Internet (the same disclaimers apply). And of course, one of our most famous alums is the poet William Stafford. I feel so privileged to attend a school so richly immersed in the culture of poetry.

Anyway, I have to go print out an English paper now, but if you have any questions, email me at jessicakostka@lclark.edu!